has google already won? 01.05.2007, 1:34 AM
posted by ben vershbow
Rich Skrenta, an influential computer industry insider, currently co-founder and CEO of Topix.net and formerly a big player at Netscape, thinks it has, crowning Google king of the "third age of computing" (IBM and Microsoft being the first and second). Just the other day, there was a bit of discussion here about whether Google is becoming a bona fide monopoly -- not only by dint of its unrivaled search and advertising network, but through the expanding cloud of services that manage our various personal communication and information needs. Skrenta backs up my concern (though he mainly seems awed and impressed) that with time, reliance on these services (not just by individuals but by businesses and oranizations of all sizes) could become so total that there will effectively be no other choice:
Just as Microsoft used their platform monopoly to push into vertical apps, expect Google to continue to push into lucrative destination verticals -- shopping searches, finance, photos, mail, social media, etc. They are being haphazard about this now but will likely refine their thinking and execution over time. It's actually not inconceivable that they could eventually own all of the destination page views too. Crazy as it sounds, it's conceivable that they could actually end up owning the entire net, or most of what counts.
The meteoric ascendance of the Google brand -- synonymous in the public mind with best, quickest, smartest -- and the huge advantage the company has gained by becoming "the start page for the Internet," means that its continued dominance is all but assured. "Google is the environment." Others here think these predictions are overblown. To me they sound frighteningly plausible.
Eddie Tejeda on January 30, 2007 12:06 AM:
I agree with your diagnosis: with Google's increasing power, expect them to introduce new services that tie the user to more than just a search. But I would like to correct you on a technical point. If we look at our defacto monopoly in truth, Wikipedia, you'll find a definition of monopoly that does not apply to Google:
A monopoly is:
In economics, a monopoly (from the Latin word monopolium - Greek language monos, one + polein, to sell) is defined as a persistent market situation where there is only one provider of a product or service. Monopolies are characterized by a lack of economic competition for the good or service that they provide and a lack of viable substitute goods.
Google has 43% of the search market, but Yahoo and Microsoft are still strong competitors.